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avatar for Alice Medalia, PhD

Alice Medalia, PhD

Clinical Director, Cognitive Health Services, New York State Office of Mental Health; Professor of Medical Psychology, Columbia University Medical Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Alice Medalia, PhD is a Professor and Director of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and Clinical Director of Cognitive Health Services for the New York State Office of Mental Health.  Dr. Medalia is also the founding director of the Lieber Recovery and Rehabilitation Clinic, a comprehensive psychiatric rehabilitation program for individuals with persistent mental illness. Dr. Medalia has been instrumental in raising awareness about the need to address cognition as a central aspect of health related to functional outcome.  She is a NIMH funded researcher, prolific author and the recipient of the Connie Lieber Research Award, the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award for inspirational teaching, the 2012 Brain Behavior Research Foundation Productive Lives Award, and 2015 National Council of Behavioral Health Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Medalia has primary research interests in treating cognition, improving motivation, and facilitating recovery among people with mental illness.  She was the first person to identify the role of intrinsic motivation in neuroplasticity based cognitive training for people with psychiatric disorders. Dr. Medalia identified the need for the treatment of cognition to move beyond theories of neuroplasticity, to embrace an understanding of how people learn. She developed the widely used Neuropsychological & Educational Approach to Remediation (NEAR) model of cognitive remediation, which has been disseminated worldwide. Dr. Medalia brought the concept of Cognitive Health to the field of Psychiatry.  Traditionally cognitive health has been seen as relevant only to older individuals, but Dr. Medalia has advocated that it be considered a central aspect of health for all individuals. With the website www.teachrecovery.com, annual conference, www.cognitive-remediation.org, publications and lectures Dr. Medalia has been instrumental in creating awareness about how psychiatric illnesses impact cognition, and the ways cognitive health can be addressed to improve functional outcome.